Many people who have found themselves in a highly contentious or even abusive marriage should prepare themselves for the likely reality of a contentious divorce.
If you have a highly contentious marriage, divorce can follow suit. Rather than avoiding the issue, it is best to prepare for the reality of a contested divorce, and if the divorce ends up being uncontested, all the better.
Make the first move –
If you know your marriage is headed in the direction of divorce, it may be best to initiate the process before your spouse does. If you have a highly contentious spouse and they file first, this could put them in a position of control, because usually, people who make the first move usually already have their ducks in a row, while the respondent is caught off guard.
Get your assets and debts in order –
If you haven’t done so already, compile a list of all your assets and debts. Include documentation that would be helpful for an attorney to have. A contentious divorce usually means contested property and asset division. The more you know about your assets, the better you can protect them.
Find an attorney you trust –
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. You need an attorney who will stick with you through thick and thin, always keeping your best interests in mind. If you don’t trust your attorney, get out of that professional relationship as soon as possible.
Be detailed and organized –
In contested divorces, you can’t afford to be unorganized about anything. One missed detail could make or break your case. Stay in close communication with your attorney and document everything. If you are ever unsure of whether or not you should include something or take note of something, it’s better to be safe than sorry you didn’t.
Leave your emotions out of major decisions –
As emotional as divorce can be, especially when contentious, it’s best to leave your emotions out of major decisions. Adding the fuel of emotions to the already blazing fire of contested divorce can make for disaster.
If you and your spouse are headed toward divorce, we invite you to contact us today for a confidential evaluation of your case to see how the Tampa family lawyers at Givens Givens Sparks could help.